Deb Toering is a Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor (BCPCC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. In addition to working with a wide range of client populations and presenting issues, Deb is also an engaging public speaker. She has spoken in front of various groups across a range of topics including marriage, bullying, ADHD/ADD, and teen leadership.
We’ve all been there. Someone close to you has offended you, probably not intentionally, but it sure felt that way. The offense may have left you feeling disrespected, misunderstood and angry. So, what do you do with all this hurt?
A good approach is outlined in Matthew 18:15. “If your brother sins against you, GO and tell him his fault, between you and him ALONE.” How often do we do everything BUT this? We will keep it in and go over and over the offense in our minds, often to the point of preoccupation or making ourselves physically sick. Or we will go and talk about it with everyone other than the one who offended us. How would we feel if we unknowingly offended someone and everyone knew about it but us?
Sometimes we believe that holding on to our hurt and placing a distance between ourself and the offender is a way to gain control; maybe even a way to change the person who hurt us. The truth is, we do not have the power to change anyone. God holds that power. Holding on to hurt, anger and unforgiveness changes us— for the worst. It sucks the life out of us. It can affect our physical and emotional health. It will get in the way of our relationship with God.
Going to your offender in a humble and respectful way could result in a win-win. Both of you grow and your relationship becomes stronger!